This story was first published on bntnews on 2016-08-31. This article was retrieved 2016-09-23 and translated to English as a public service for international Stellar fans. Original article can be found here: [인터뷰] 아직 끝나지 않은 ‘스텔라’ 이야기. Translation Cr. So yeon.
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[Interview] Stellar’s yet unfinished story
[Reporter Lee Ju-shin] Women do not need to force themselves to imitate or dress up because their alluring charms and sexy figures are bound to reveal themselves naturally. Maybe it is the 6 years after debut that made girl group Stellar to show their more mature feminine beauty/charm.
Member Gayoung says that getting rid of people’s look on sexy concept with a jaundiced eye is the hardest. With anticipations about a new concept along with another different color of music, they are putting the ‘Cry’ album which received lots of love aside and are going to work steadily to change their image to the public.
Let’s listen to Stellar, who wants to do better, and their deep, heartwarming story.
Q. It is your fourth time working with bnt. Any thoughts on the photoshoot?
Jeonyul: bnt pictorial comes out beautifully, so I came here with expectations today.
Hyoeun: I have such high expectations to the point that I want to change SNS or profile pictures and I am curious [about the result].
Q: Do you like the concept of the photoshoot today?
Hyoeun: There are clothes we can wear on stage and on a pictorial, I liked how the clothes were different, and I think photos will come out naturally and nicely because they took really beautiful shots.
Gayoung: I’ve been wanting to do a photoshoot that has comfortable feeling to it with a loose shirt we wore for the first one. Second one is the style we can do a lot, but it came out beautifully with a different look.
Jeonyul: If there’s an opportunity, I’d like to take a couple photo shoot or a wedding dress photo shoot.
Q: It has been 6 months since the photoshoot. How have you been during those times?
Jeonyul: We had our first solo concert. Also, we worked hard for overseas promotion, went to China and came back, and prepared our album for the most part.
Gayoung: I attended school during busy times.
Q: Your comeback was earlier than when we thought it would be. How was your promotion after the comeback?
Gayoung: We finished our last broadcast yesterday. We promoted about 5 weeks straight without taking breaks this time. Weather was too hot and we were tired, but we cheered up and worked hard because fans cheered us on. We promoted on music shows almost every day of the week. We also went to events and came out on a radio show or a variety show to promote our comeback. Although it isn’t a public TV variety show, we were active on V-app thanks to the development of SNS and apps nowadays, but we couldn’t do V-app that much these days because we’ve been too busy. We’re planning to do V-app again though.
Q: What is the difference between this album, ‘Cry’, and the last album, ‘Sting’, in terms of the public response and concept?
Minhee: We tried to bring out youthful, fresh feeling of early 20s in ‘Sting’ and tried to bring out femininity, sexiness, and refined side of middle to late 20s in this album.
Hyoeun: We gained more fans this time. Age groups are about the same, but it cheered us up to see a lot more fans coming to music shows.
Jeonyul: We have more international fans now. We used to have about one or two foreigners at our fan signing event, but there was a French person and more foreigners this time.
Q: When we look back to the previous interview, there are many parts where you mentioned that you always do the promotion thinking that the album is going to be the last one.
Gayoung: Because we really thought it’d be the last one. But now, our album is doing well so the CEO’s will has grown stronger.
Jeonyul: Since our agency is small, we don’t have enough resources. So, we always worried whether we’d be able to produce another album next time or not. That’s why we keep saying things like that. We think that every album is our last album and do our best because no one knows what will happen.
Q: That is why we are excited for the next album. Do you have any opinions about deciding on a concept?
Jeonyul: Personally, I wish we can do a song like ‘Marionette’, the one that Stellar received attention, not the concept though. A song that expresses heartbreaking love.
Gayoung: There’s a song called ‘Vibrato’ among our songs and I really like it. It was such a shame though because we didn’t receive attention that time. I’d like to release more albums of the style like that one.
Hyoeun: ‘Vibrato’ is a song that makes our hearts beat the most and is exciting when we’re on stage. The beat isn’t fast, but it’s sophisticated and gets exciting as you listen to it more and more. If possible, I want to prepare an album and come out before it gets cold. As soon as possible.
Q: Wasn’t it physically tiring for you to prepare in 6 months?
Gayoung: That’s probably why I was sick. (laughs)
Hyoeun: Album needs to be released quickly. Promotion period is short these days so we’re easily forgotten when we rest for a long time.
Gayoung: If anything, resting makes me feel mentally depressed and makes it hard. I like doing promotion right away and living the busy life.
Q: How do you maintain your physical strength?
Gayoung: Due to schedule, I usually wake up at dawn and take vitamins or eat fruits.
Minhee: I get vitamin shots because I don’t have time to eat those.
Q: Do you exercise [besides maintaining your physical strength]?
Gayoung: I used to exercise regularly, but I can’t exercise these days. I think I’m losing weight because I can’t eat dinner well. I lost weight compared to the time before promotion.
Q: Seems like each of you is unique. What is your personality like in real life?
Gayoung: I’m quiet and calm. But I laugh a lot and try to be fun when we do V-app activities because I think I need to talk. Usually, I’m not talkative and shy around strangers.
Minhee: I’m bubbly.
Gayoung: When Minhee feels down, the team’s overall atmosphere goes down and vice versa. (laughs)
Jeonyul: I tend to go with the flow. Unlike how I look, I may seem like someone who doesn’t talk much but I have most aegyo and I’m really shy around strangers. To hide my shyness, I do aegyo when I talk.
Hyoeun: I’m very moody. When I don’t talk, I really don’t talk and get excited when I feel good. Maknae suffers because I have emotional ups and downs.
Q: Who do you think is the most talented member out of the four?
Hyoeun: Jeonyul bursts out in laughter when it wasn’t intended to make people laugh. Please put her on variety shows. (laughs)
Gayoung: Jeonyul is the talented one usually and Minhee is the talented one on stage. She has this charm that captures the stage even when she’s not doing much.
Minhee: Jeonyul joins the conversation in a fun way. We don’t know what she’ll say, so we have to put limits on what she can say. Hyoeun has a lot of aegyo and Gayoung eonni is more talented on stage than she usually is.
Jeonyul: Hyoeun eonni is really loved by ‘yeo-duck(female fans)’ when she’s on stage. Minhee eonni naturally does sexy actions that guys like. Gayoung eonni seems like a sweet, innocent girl but she has opposite charm because she’s also sexy.
Q: Four of you probably have conflicts and opinion clashes, so how do you work those out?
Gayoung: Minhee works things out on the spot and the rest of us tend to hold them in and try to get rid of them. We don’t clash that much. Anyone can get hurt/disappointed by something, so we tend to talk things out. We understand each other because we know each other’s personality. We don’t fight by pulling each other’s hair. We don’t like fighting. (laughs)
Q: We are curious about how you debuted.
Gayoung: Jeonyul was in the team first and then I came in. Our company was the first company for both of us and we practiced with members that were originally here before, and debuted. Members were changed right away in the next album. I liked previous members, but I get along more with current members when it comes to personalities and tastes. We get along well.
Hyoeun: Minhee and I used to practice at a different company and auditioned after our acquaintance introduced us about it. They contacted us right away and we did the album jacket photoshoot.
Gayoung: We didn’t know about it. They told us we have to redo the jacket photoshoot so we went and received the notice that we’re going to take photos because new members joined.
Hyoeun: They say ‘new members’ but the original members released one album before and we did the promotion starting from the second one.
Q: There might have been times when you wanted to give up being a singer just like how every other girl group felt like at some point.
Minhee: Break period is the hardest. After releasing an album as a whole group, we had a break period for about a year and half. We had to rest for a year and half just after releasing our first album. We didn’t have a proper practice room during that time and rested endlessly while waiting for songs. That’s why we have more thirst for the stage.
Jeonyul: The period before ‘Marionette’ was the hardest. Since it was such a different and extreme transformation, I was too worried about how we’re going to bring out the sexy feeling with our personalities.
Gayoung: Our CEO told us we should release the album thinking that it’s the last album or give up. He decided on a sexy concept and worried about it the next day saying that it won’t work out. But, thankfully, the public response was better than what we thought it would be. Break period wasn’t the hard time for me. The fact that people cast a jaundiced eye on us was too much for me to bear. We received attention by doing a sexy concept, but the album we released before with a different concept didn’t receive attention. We weren’t trying to only wear revealing clothes but the public only responds to sexy and it’s hard for us because they just view us as sexy girls. We want to show a different side of us, but it’s so hard to take get rid of their ‘jaundiced eye’. I thought it’d change someday and they’d recognize it if we work hard, but I guess it doesn’t change that easily.
Q: On the other hand, when was your happiest moment during your promotion?
Jeonyul: I’m happiest when I’m on stage. Although I have more tough moments during promotions than happy moments, I endure those tough moments for 3 minutes on stage.
Hyoeun: I used to practice until the dawn, stay up all night, and practice again in the morning at a previous company, and moved to the current company. I’m so thankful and happy when I see people that I used to train so hard together back then at a waiting room. Because that means we became successful in some way or other.
Gayoung: I’m happiest when I see fans who always come and support us on music shows or at events.
Minhee: [The happiest moment was] when we became one of the nominees for 1st place on a music show. It made me think about all of hard work and effort that we put in before, so I was happiest that time
Q: Any memorable fans?
Gayoung: [A fan] who always writes letters to us and a fan who lives in Australia who translates all of our videos in English. Other international fans watch those and get interested in us.
Hyoeun: [Fans] collect gifts or letters and send them to us so we’ll be able to prepare our album well. Their words cheer us up when they say they’re supporting us from far away. It almost feels like Korean fans are our family.
Q: Where there’s a fan who loves you passionately, an anti also exist. How do you deal with mean comments?
Minhee: There aren’t many mean comments these days. Unlike the mean comments that are full of hate, there are helpful ones. I read those and think that I/we should fix [things or whatever they stated in their comments]. I enjoy reading the hateful ones and laugh it off.
Gayoung: I ignore all of them or click the ‘dislike’ button. (laughs)
Minhee: There are 4 dislikes on hateful comments. That’s us. (laughs) Sometimes, we click the ‘report’ button. (laughs)
Q: How do you date when you’re busy with promotion?
Minhee: All of us only have a lot of female friends.
Gayoung: Our agency tells us to get a boyfriend, but currently we don’t have anyone to date. They used to scold us for not dating and tell us to date. They asked us why we aren’t dating and if we don’t have charm as women or something. (laughs) They beg us to meet someone but we don’t have anyone.
Minhee: We asked them to set up blind dates, but they haven’t done so for 6 years. (laughs)
Q: Then who are you ideal types?
Gayoung: We get excited to talk about the opposite sex/men. (laughs) If I have to choose a celebrity, it would be Park Hae-jin. I used to like Ahn Jae-hyun, but he looks good as a romanticist these days [*Ahn Jae-hyun and Goo Hye-sun got married a few months ago]. My ideal type is someone who talks nicely. A kind-hearted person, people’s personalities are revealed by their words.
Minhee: I used to talk about one person or so, but I should broaden the scope now. It means I’m open to anyone. (laughs) First of all, I like ‘baby wolf-faced’ guys such as Gray, Model Jung Sung-hoon, Yoon Du-jun and more. A man like a Siberian Husky who still has cuteness and innocence. I probably don’t have a boyfriend because I care about all these things. (laughs)
Hyoeun: Nam Joo-hyuk. He has broad shoulders and a puppy-face. It was Song Joong-ki until a few months ago. But I gave up because he became so popular. (laughs)
Jeonyul: I like someone who is manly and dependable. It’d be Kim woo-bin these days, my ideal type changes often because I fall for characters in dramas. (laughs)
Q: Are there any variety shows you’d like to make an appearance besides music shows?
Jeonyul: I’d like to embrace Kim Hee-chul’s ad-libs on ‘Knowing Bros’. I think we’d do well. We’re good with ad-libs. Honestly, we have nothing to hide. We’ll go wherever they call us.
Gayoung: I’d like to film ‘We Got Married’ with Park Hae-jin. I feel like I won’t be able to do it because I really like him and would get nervous.
Q: Any last words?
Gayoung: Although our ‘Cry’ promotion has ended, our overseas activities and event season are coming up so we’d love to meet lots of fans through different opportunities, and we’ll work hard on our next song and come back so I hope they’d wait for us. I was thankful that they cheered us on during this promotion.
Jeonyul: Thanks to bnt for doing a pretty photo shoot whenever our album comes out.